The Essex County District Attorney's office announced today that the state Parole Board has denied an early release to a man convicted of murdering a Peabody woman 16 years ago.
John Keegan, who was serving out a 15-year to life sentence for second-degree murder and attempted aggravated rape, pled guilty to beating 27-year-old Kristen Crowley to death in the woods near her apartment. A second man, Timothy Dykens, was also convicted in the case (of first-degree murder).
The board issued its decision earlier today and imposed a maximum review period of five years.
“This decision keeps a dangerous criminal behind bars,” said DA Jon Blodgett. “Mr. Keegan committed a heinous crime in the kidnapping and brutal beating of Kristen Crowley. He has never taken responsibility for his actions. I will continue to oppose his release as long as I am District Attorney.”
The murder occurred June 1, 1996, when Keegan and Dykens spotted Crowley at a gas station convenience store. They followed her to her apartment, which was nearby, and dragged her into the woods, where they attempted to rape her and eventually killed her.
Keegan pled guilty in the case on Oct. 28, 1997, a day after Dykens was convicted.
Essex Assistant DA and Appeals Division Chief Elin Graydon, arguing against parole for Keegan, said he's failed to fully admit the nature and extent of his role in the murder, continues to engage in abusive and deceitful relationships with women while in custody, hasn't participated in a sex offender treatment program and has a "weak plan" to do so should he be released.
“This murder was a sex-driven, alcohol-fueled stranger assault in which two men targeted a lone female,” Graydon said. “Release is not compatible with the welfare of society.”